Nahant History

After years of being used as a sportsman’s club, investigations showed that the marsh had high levels of lead. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, River Action, Quad City Audubon Society, and Iowa DNR came together to try to save the marsh and conserve its biotic community. The EPA declared the marsh a Superfund Site and began an extensive cleanup of the lead. After the cleanup, wildlife and plant life showed a vast improvement. So much so that it was decided to make the wetland a nature preserve; thus the birth of what it is today. Below are a few links that tell the story of Nahant Marsh.

Additional Resources:

“Restoring Our Resources: Iowa’s Nahant Marsh” U. S. Fish & Wildlife Serivce

Click here to watch the video “Nahant Marsh Comeback” by Iowa Public Television.

Natural History of Nahant Marsh 

EPA Cleanup at Nahant Marsh


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Timeline of Nahant History

Pre-Civilization Nahant began as an oxbow lake, an offshoot of the Mississippi. Silt filled in the area and it evolved into a wetland.
1700-1800s Area used for travel and bartering by Native Americans and settlers.
1814 War of 1812 – Battle of Credit Island
1833 First European American settlemens appear.
1835 Village of Rockingham was settled across from the mouth of the Rock River
1837 Rockingham and Davenport hold multiple fraudulent elections to determine the county seat, Davenport emerges as victor.
1900-1950 Area is well-known for its railyard, as well as its high crime and poverty rates
1969 Quad Cities Trap and Skeet Club Established
1994 Signs of lead poisoning appear in the marsh
1995 U.S. Fish and Wildlife a cleanup, EPA Contracted to clean up lead shot in marsh
1999 Cleanup completed, clubhouse converted into an education center
Nahant Marsh declared EPA Superfund Site
2000-Present Nahant is maintained as a nature preserve and education center

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Nahant Marsh

LogoThe mission of Nahant Marsh Education Center is to protect, enhance, and restore the Marsh through education, research, and conservation. Our vision is to foster wonder, appreciation, and stewardship of the natural world.


Alcoa • ATEEC • City of Davenport • Davenport Community Schools • Eastern Iowa Community Colleges • Figge Art Museum • General Asphalt • KJWW • Linwood Mining & Minerals • Scott County • St. Ambrose University • TransCanada • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service • Wapsi Environmental Education Center • Western Illinois University Quad Cities • WVIK

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Nahant Marsh

4220 Wapello Ave.
Davenport, IA 52802